¿Sabías que muchas personas alrededor del mundo se interesan por participar en misiones de la ONU, de la Cruz Roja Internacional o van más allá y están alertas de ser miembros activos de programas de  construcción de viviendas y pagan por ello? Como he reseñado en trabajos anteriores, lo variopinto de la industria de los viajes da para mucho y, aun hoy, podemos conseguir opciones de turismo especializado poco o nada conocidas.El Turismo de Ayuda, también conocido como Turismo Solidario o Turismo Responsable es una de ellas; una faceta de la industria que se va abriendo camino en el amplio universo que engloba la actividad turística.

Por Bernhard Weissenbach

A pesar de la vertiginosa “primitivización”, en los últimos años,de los venezolanos, conservamos el espíritu colaborativoen nuestra mente¡Sí! Seguramente en menor medida, pero ese sentimiento de extender la mano a quien más lo necesite, podría calificarse como una conducta muy antigua, fija desde nuestros inicios como sociedad.

Cada día que pasa, el turismo solidario va cautivando a más viajeros por el mundo, por lo que desarrollar esta corriente dentro de nuestro territorio no resulta descabellado.

Lo que rodea la necesidad de viajar son los sueños, expectativas, experiencias y vivencias de quienes forman parte de esas millones de personas que se desplazan de un lugar a otro por todo el globo. Así que ofrecer la oportunidad de conectarse de forma única y queademás el visitante sea el principal actor y promotor de cambiar “una realidad”, resulta sumamente atractivo

Veamos: en los últimos años, se han conformado y han salido al ruedo innumerables fundaciones y organizaciones sin fines de lucro, que atienden el tema de los “peludos” en situación de calle (perros y gatos) que han tenido un efecto viralizante por las redes sociales. Podríamos decir que son las responsables de su auge. De igual forma, organizaciones dedicadas a atender a niños de la calle, adultos mayores, jóvenes en situación de riesgo, programas de vivienda, desintoxicación y ayudas escolares abundan con sus jornadas y campañas.

Entonces si este nicho de mercado, parte de las deficiencias y carencias, de las cuales adolece el  sector y el país en general, es imposible no pensar en apalancarnos en una debilidad, al estilo de la famosa campaña promocional queutilizara Colombia hace algunos años como marca país: “el riesgo es que te quieras quedar”.

Otro elemento a tomar en cuenta para considerar acoplar la oferta a este mercado está en la existencia de grupos de personas que han realizado viajes a otras latitudes a vivir este tipo de experiencias.Es decir, mercado interno tenemos.Ahora bien, ¿cómo hacerlo? Partamos del hecho de que no es necesario contar con una gran infraestructura, a fin de cuenta es el último fin de quien se embarca en este tipo de turismo. Lo que prima es la satisfacción de ayudar, por lo que los lujos, amenidades y comodidades no son prioridad para el turista o recreacionista.

Si tomamos como ejemplo los refugios de animales, los visitantes podrían ser parte de las labores diarias dentro de las instalaciones: pasear, bañar, clasificar, acompañar entre otros a estos indefensos animales; aportarían monetariamente y además se convertirían, ¿por qué no?, en multiplicadores y colaboradores permanentes de estas instalaciones ocasionando el crecimiento de estos refugios e organizaciones, aumentando sus capacidades, mejorando sus servicios y minimizar los espacios libres, de perros y gatos, por ejemplo, en situación de calle a nuestras ciudades. Siendo así entonces ¿quién gana? Sin lugar a dudas todos, o es que procurarmantener limpia y libre de animalitos nuestras calles y avenidas ¿no es una contribución que alguna vez hemos pensado y no sabemos cómo encaminarla?

En mi opinión, véase por donde se vea todos los actores resultan beneficiados directa e indirectamente, tal es el caso del Santuario Territorio de Zaguates, en Costa Rica. Cuba y Perú tienen propuestas interesantes, con respecto a este tipo de experiencias.

Ese ejemplo que hemos recreado, podría replicarse en distintas áreas, afectando de manera positiva las comunidades receptoras; mientras que los beneficiados directos a través de un “full day” de corte recreativo o paquetes que incluyan pernocta dentro de esas infraestructuras, de ser el caso, o triangulando con alojamientos ubicados en la periferia.

 

Es importante que estas iniciativas mantengan siempre el mismo norte. Hay que ser cuidadosos y no herir susceptibilidades. No se trata de vender “la necesidad” sino más bien de aportar solidaridad a beneficiarios finales; apoyen siempre las iniciativas locales y permita que a través del turismo, problemas del pasado se conviertan en soluciones para el futuro ¿Qué esperan? ¡Llegó la hora de actuar!

 

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